Once you know that a hurricane is on the way, it's important to begin preparing for it so you can minimize the damage that occurs, protect your belongings, and safeguard yourself, your family, and your employees from harm. Taking the following precautions before the hurricane makes landfall can give you peace of mind, while also helping to prevent unnecessary expenditures as you clean up from the hurricane's aftermath.
- Check the national weather service for the expected landfall of the hurricane in your area, so that you know how much time you have to prepare.
- Make sure that you have emergency supplies handy just in case you need them. Your kit should include a flashlight with fully charged batteries, fresh water, daily medications, non-perishable food, battery-powered radio, first aid supplies, and blankets. Restock if you need to do so.
- Unless they are secured in a safety deposit box or safe, gather important documents to keep with you, including your driver's license or personal ID, deed, birth certificates, insurance policies, and wills.
- Make sure that your phone is fully charged and keep it with you, along with your wallet and any cash that you have available.
- Set your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest possible setting to help keep your food cold as long as possible if you lose power.
- Put away loose items on the outside of your home. Secure items that are too large to put in the garage, shed, or house, using chains, strong rope, or cables.
- Close all of the doors and windows on the home, using locks and bolts. If you have shutters, secure them as tightly as possible. If you don't have shutters, securely place plywood boards over every window of your home.
- Fill the car's gas tank.
- If you have sufficient time, evacuate to a safe area. If not, find the safest room in the home to wait out the storm. Typically, this will be a windowless room on the lowest level.
- Choose a family member or other individual who everyone will contact after the storm to update their status in the event that you become separated.
Here are some additional Hurricane Prep Resources:
Think smart, prepare and stay safe this hurricane season.